Cameo -- Gerard Butler

Category: Interviews | Posted by: admin
Article Date: January 1, 2001 | Publication: Premiere Magazine | Author: Robert Abele
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There was a time when Gerard Butler, eager to get a foothold as an actor, had a guaranteed conversation starter to use when introduced to someone. “It used to be, ‘Hey, how you doing? I’m an actor. I used to be a lawyer,’ ” he says. “Now I don’t really talk about it.” That’s because five years since he set aside his legal education, the 32-year-old Scotsman’s career switch is paying off. He’s currently starring as everyone’s favorite bloodsucker in Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000. (He also appears in this month’s TV miniseries Attila.)

Like the fanged one, the actor admits to having “tasted the sweetness of debauchery” himself—once or twice. There was, for example, the year he spent wandering through the States: “I ended up getting drunk for a month solid with a bunch of Irish guys I met.” (This may explain how he wound up working in a touring carnival during this period.)

When he returned to Scotland, he reluctantly joined a legal firm (“I turned up for the interview baked in every way, and I still got the job!”) but couldn’t ignore his longstanding passion for acting. Not that Butler hasn’t had to endure what some might consider bad omens: He was poked in the eye with a wooden stake during rehearsals for the play Coriolanus, and on the first day of shooting his film debut in Mrs. Brown, he had to bound naked into a freezing sea—and as a result, he contracted hypothermia. Still, the drama required by his career has thankfully taken some unnecessary drama out of his personal life. “[During] some of the most miserable periods of my life, people thought I was very happy,” he says. “And now that I’m actually happier, I don’t have to show it. I’m more comfortable with myself.”